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Ramon David

Why is no one talking about ventilation? Restaurants and bars could be where the viral spread is happening. Why - that is where people are gathering and talking without masks indoors because they are eating and drinking at the same time. Isn't that why they were closed down during the beginning of the pandemic? When are health departments going to require good ventilation in these types of places with air exchange rates of a few times per hour at least?

‘Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota, told me....Vaccination is by far the most protective measure a person can take. Second is ensuring proper ventilation—replacing the air in a room at least five to six times an hour, he explained. Next is social distancing. And then there’s masking: “You keep going down in that order, and finally the lowest thing in terms of overall prevention potential is individual respiratory protection,” he said.’

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/10/why-americans-wear-cloth-masks/620296/

Lynn k Allen

All of the comments about masks & vaccines revolve around 'poor little me being inconvenienced' by exceptional and changing circumstances of a new unknown pandemic.

Quit the Toddler Tantrums and listen to the Healthcare people who are at the front lines, exhausted and telling us how to survive this.

... We are losing our health system and LOSING NURSES & DOCTORS as grown people act like Toddlers having a Tantrum about being in inconvenienced and making up medical facts.

Listen to the educated and licienced Healthcare people while we still have some!! They are educated, have years and years of experience and Medical Degrees.

Robert Fields

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Linda Herrmann

I have 2 vaccinations, and 1 booster. Why do I need to wear a mask to protect others if I have had 3 shots that are supposed to give me immunity? If the vaccines are effective, why would someone be afraid I would get them sick if I don't wear a mask? If that is the premise, then I am not safe from Covid, even after 3 vaccinations, so why bother to get vaccinated?

Jim Klukkert

Linda Herrmann, and yet you bothered to get vaccinated. So now continue doing the right thing by wearing an N95 mask. This is inline with the best guidance available at this date during this changing situation.

Unless you claim to know better than the combined and accredited medical/scientific community.

thanks.

Robert Fields

The shots and booster do protect you by a huge amount but there is still a chance you can get covid and die. Being vaccinated makes you much less likely to get covid, and if you do, much less likely to need hospitalization, and if you do, much less likely to die. This is why the people hospitalized and dying of covid are almost all unvaccinated.

Vaccines protect you but if you have complicating factors or just draw a joker, you could still get sick and die. Unfortunately a mask you wear protects others from you more than it protects you from others - but it still provides you with some protection.

That brings us to the other reason for mask mandates - the unvaccinated. Infected unvaccinated folk can spread covid like crazy. Mask mandates are the last line of defense against these people and greatly reduce the amount of virus they shed. Since it appears the exposure level is a factor in how anyone responds to the virus, keeping the factories wrapped helps reduce exposures for those who have risk factors or are unable to get vaccinated for some reason like too young or allergies.

Make no mistake, the vaccines put you in a much lower risk category but you still have some level of risk. Fully vaccinated can still be overwhelmed and die. Masks help to reduce that risk even more. Infected vaccinated don’t shed virus like unvaccinated infected. You personally probably pose little risk to others even if infected. I don’t know that it has been determined that you can’t spread covid, though. You may still be able to.

But without checking everyone’s vaccination status, masks provide an easily verifiable means to know someone, infected or not, vaccinated or not, is at least somewhat less likely to infect and kill others.

The last point is this all comes down to an equation that will predict increasing, steady, or decreasing covid cases and deaths. That’s how this stuff gets decided. If mask mandates are removed, infection probabilities go up. If more get vaccinated, infection probabilities go down. The more who get covid and survive/recover, infection probabilities go down (though not as much as getting the vaccine). More social interactions drive infection probabilities up. It’s the people who refuse to get vaccinated that are forcing the mask mandates to hang on. We are now seeing infection rates drop again as more get vaccinated and more have had covid. When removing mask mandates no longer leads to increasing infections, they will likely be removed again just like happened at the beginning of the summer. But, just as happened shortly after the mask mandates came off, if we get another variant that’s more infectious, mask mandates may be needed again.

It’s a dynamic situation. To walk as close to the line between increasing and decreasing infection rates, with society as open as possible, we have to accept that masking and other mandates can come and go. But hidden in all this is at any infection level, some people will get sick and some will die. All these “freedoms” to not wear a mask, not distance, not get vaccinated, congregate in large numbers, etc, all mean some number of people will die. Mostly unvaccinated (by far), but some vaccinated too.

This is all why people should get vaccinated and mask at least until mandates are lifted. Longer if you have risk factors or are around others with risk factors or who can’t get vaccinated. Odds of surviving this pandemic are way better with the vaccine than without.

Edward Elias

Life long Democrat here. Do you want to get rid of masks??? Just vote REPUBLICAN. I will.

Robert Fields

And if a more infectious variant comes around again, we could join Texas, Florida, and a few other states that refuse common sense and such low effort lifesaving measures, and need to buy refrigerated trailers to store the overflowing dead. Republican goodness right there, buddy. Yee haw.

Might want to keep voting democrat but your call. The life you save could be your own.

Gary Krugger

The idea of masking for years is idiotic, and nobody should accept that as the 'New Normal'. I've been fully vaccinated since April, and find our Public Health Order to be inexcusable. Scrase and our governor refuse to define what criteria need to be met in order for COVID to no longer be an emergency. They gave us an arbitrary goal before (60% vaccination rate for eligible adults) then tossed that out the window. The Public Health Order is supposed to be temporary, not indefinite.

Not that my opinion matters, but I feel that this stopped being an emergency months ago. Thanks to 3 very effective, safe, and readily available vaccines, COVID is now a preventable condition for anyone over the age of 12. People (kids) not yet eligible, have a survival rate of at least 99.995% (according to a study from England). That would be roughly 5 fatalities per 100,000 cases among them. That is just less than the fatality rate of children/teens from motor vehicle accidents in NM (6.9 per 100,000). Car accidents hasn't been declared a public health emergency in New Mexico for children, so neither should COVID because it statistically kills less kids. The fact that COVID doesn't kill that many kids should be irrelevant in a few weeks once kids as young as 5 will be able to get vaccinated.

Besides, the mask order is totally ineffective. Don't take my word for it. Do two minutes of research on your own. Go to the CDC's website, go to Compare Trends Across States and Regions, and compare the case rates of some of your favorite neighboring states (none of which have mask mandates) against New Mexico. We have a higher vaccination rate than any bordering state (I'm including Utah), and a public indoor mask mandate for everyone. If the mask mandate was effective, New Mexico should have substantially less cases. Currently, Colorado, Texas, and Oklahoma have LESS cases per capita than we do. Arizona and Utah are higher, but not significantly. Don't misinterpret the point I'm trying to make here. Masks are better than nothing, and if you are sick, and out in public, then you should definitely wear one. Also, if you feel more comfortable/safer with one, then wear one. Masks should be a choice, not a mandate. My point is that the mask mandate does NOT significantly reduce cases, and is therefore pointless. But, despite it not working we all know that our governor and Scrase are going to double down on that mask mandate anyway by extending the order another month. Then again in November because not enough kids have been vaccinated yet. Then again in December just to ruin Christmas.

Angel Ortiz

Sorry boys, but the virus will be here for years. Change Governors if you wish. Cry all you want. Science is behind the curve on COVID and the ensuing variants. Mother nature is in control. I'm wearing my mask to keep you safe. If you believe otherwise great! Stay home or move to Texas.

Khal Spencer

There are plenty of hazardous things with us for years. We don't turn over indefinite emergency powers because of them. Plus, plenty of states, including those run by Dems, require a periodic affirmation of ongoing emergency orders by their legislatures rather than just rolling over and playing dead.

As far as your put down, why don't you move to Commiefornia, if you want to toss out that kind of snark?

Robert Fields

There’s lots of safety rules with us forever because the situations haven’t appreciably changed - seat belts, speed limits, jaywalking statutes, etc. We don’t call those emergency powers and complain those laws are still in effect, do we? While we still have people refusing to help fight it, covid is another safety issue that unfortunately needs laws around it to keep the reckless from injuring or killing others. The covid laws came into being in an emergency but that doesn’t really matter. The laws still save lives.

The “Commiefornia” snark isn’t necessary either, Khal. Angel is correct, snark or no. It wasn’t that long ago you decried posts here for being inflammatory. Where did that attitude go? And it’s looking like there’s more reasons covid could be sticking with us for a while and all of this is with fingers crossed we don’t get another mutation that sidesteps vaccines even more.

Masks save lives. Masks are also visible and easily verifiable. Masks aren’t near as effective protecting the wearer from others as they are protecting others from the wearer. As long as we have unvaccinated covid factories walking among us, we need to keep them wearing masks to protect others - and ourselves. Infection severity depends a lot on level of exposure. Masks reduce the level.

We’ve kind of plateaued with covid response. The unvaccinated are likely to remain unvaccinated thanks to rampant misinformation from the vocal uneducated. And they can get covid multiple times and some never even know it. In my family we’ve now had at least two unvaccinated and probably more (including children) get covid, and one who was fully vaccinated has died. We haven’t seen new vaccines that counter the known mutations yet and are still using vaccines developed against the original strain. It takes time to gear all that up, get approvals, etc, so who knows when we will see vaccines that provide broader protection?

That leaves us with masks and distancing which work against all variants. Vaccines still provide a lot of protection but those could be circumvented by some new mutation and the CDC is eyeing a few to see if they break through. Masks, on the other hand, are universal and far too many among us see them as an affront to their freedom to behave irresponsibly.

Keep the mask laws as long as they are needed. Call them whatever you want. And by the way, “Commiefornia” is playing with fire by not requiring masks if you are vaccinated but nobody is checking vaccination status. End result is indoors and out, very few are wearing masks. I just got back from “Commiefornia” and no way I’d go there if I wasn’t vaccinated. It was weird enough as it was being around unmasked people without knowing anything about their status. Their laws on covid could easily lead to another wave. I much prefer NM’s laws.

Moses Townsend

If we have to keep mask mandates as long as it makes sense, then by all means. I've gotten so used to it at this point, it's not a big deal for most sensible people I'd assume.

I think the issue would be shutting businesses down again. We can't afford to go that route.

The shutdown in 2020 in NM was horrendous for so many businesses. I still see the effects of it 1.5 years later.

While I'm glad NM is taking COVID seriously, that was a bit too far. The people that defended the shutdowns as necessary I find are often older white neoliberals with deep pockets that are detached from that economic struggle. It doesn't seem like a big deal if you got lots of money from a successful career or a trust fund. Both are quite common in Santa Fe. For the working class/small-business owners, a different story.

Keeps masks, by all means. But if we ever went into a shutdown again like 2020 it's be an even bigger nail in the coffin for small business owners.

One last thing, we have to remember Santa Fe is a magnet for the neurotic. That sometimes coincides with high intelligence (not social intelligence, but at least STEM or academic intelligence). This isn't to pick on neurotic folks, but I really noticed it in people's response to COVID.

I can't say I've seen a person driving solo with a mask and gloves anywhere else during this pandemic. I see it daily here. People jumping back when you pass them, properly masked in a store, acting like you're about to murder them by being in their presence.

I get it, it's a surreal time for us all. But the combo of a densely neurotic community and people that make political statements with their COVID responses (both parties do it, but of course here it's of the liberal persuasion usually)...it sets us up for overkill on the whole thing.

I've also never seen anywhere else except Santa Fe people wearing masks that say "FULLY VACCINATED". If that isn't blatant unnecessary virtue signaling I don't know what is. I've been fully vexed for almost a year but don't need to broadcast it to the world. But that's just pompous old liberal Santa Fe folks for you. And yes, I'm liberal and can see the arrogant and neurotic extremes of such in our community.

The neuroticism disables any capability of rational thinking. Not that much different than a deranged conspiracy anti-vaxxer.

Khal Spencer

My comment about Angle moving to Commiefornia was in response to Angel telling me to move to Texas. You are right, I usually avoid throwing tomatoes but I got irked this morning. One good putdown deserves another. Why did you ignore hers?

Most of those other things such as seat belts, speed limits, etc, are passed by normal governmental actions with proper give and take and hearings, not one person dictating a rule we all have to salute along with the flag and now it looks like indefinitely. In case you and Angel missed my point, it was not so much about shots and masks but about indefinite states of emergency. That is an anathema to democracy, small d.

Jim Klukkert

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Robert Fields

Another point. You see it here too where people were clearly confused about things loosening up late spring and then mask laws were reinstated early summer. The reason was the more infectious and more deadly delta strain came along and raced through unvaccinated populations. I don’t understand the inability to see why laws were relaxing but then needed to be tightened back up, but it is clearly beyong the mental capabilities of some.

Changing the rules just confuses the slow minded among us and they get defiant and think it’s all theater. Because of that, we can’t walk as close to the edge as we can and balance the risks and danger. That leads to even more bad behavior. End result is we apparently have to trade a more dynamic and appropriate response for consistency so we don’t confuse those people.

Keep the mask rules as they are. When covid does finally run its course, then we can relax the rules. It may not be important to you but it’s very important to everyone who would die without mask rules and emergency powers.

Margaret Eyler

lol soooo "When Covid finally does run its course"....when will that be, exactly? When a vaccine that by all statistical measures prevents death from Covid is available? When everyone has access to it? When, even in spite of a percentage of the pop. being unvaccinated our hospitals aren't overwhelmed? When we have antibody treatments and a prescription pill on the way to prevent even MORE of the small percentage of people being hospitalized to become sick? Oh, wait....

Also, the people not wearing masks aren't "confused"....lol we just don't do things that don't make sense

Robert Fields

Margaret, I don’t think you know what makes sense. Who knows when covid will have run its course? We could get another mutation. Unvaccinated can get it multiple times. You guys can infect and kill vaccinated.

We already saw mandates roll back. It’s proven fact that mandates will roll back as soon as conditions warrant. It just a large unvaccinated population had covid race through them and protections had to be mandated again. Had more been vaccinated those protections could have been unnecessary. It’s you guys who did this to yourselves and the rest of us and you are unwilling to accept that responsibility. You just want to blame someone else.

Angel Ortiz

Khal, thank you for your thoughtful input. Funny how the virus has been politicized. Wearing masks and getting the vaccine are now an infringement on our rights? Such a poor and weak argument. We are still in the midst of the epidemic but some of feel we need to place the blame on governments. Take a look around it is the fault of those who don't believe how serious this is. Fear always seems to allow individuals to blame others. I'm born and raised in SF, although California sounds wonderful, I'm staying. Have a great day!

Khal Spencer

Again, you either deliberately are setting up a straw man or you missed my point. My point was about an indefinite "state of emergency" created by a bad bill signed into law and a legislature unable or unwilling to stand up for its branch of government. Have a great day, too. And I think there is room in Santa Fe for both of us, so we don't have to move to Texas or Commiefornia!

Angel Ortiz

Commiefornia!! [sleeping]

Lucas Lujan

A lot of maskholes are out today. Eat some red and green it will make you free again.

Margaret Eyler

I'm pretty sure you're wearing your mask to virtue signal but whatevs. Bet it's a cloth mask. Maybe a surgical mask?? (SCIENCE says neither is particularly helpful but just keep ignoring that) We are one of only 7 states that have mask mandates (not just evil, evil Texas has realized they're stupid)

Frank Napolitano

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Margaret Eyler

If people weren’t STILL too scared to travel outside this state they would see the majority of America is back to absolute normal 🤣

Khal Spencer

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Cheryl Meyer

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Robert Fields

Like Texas and Florida normal with bodies stacked in refrigerated trailers until they can be prepped for burial?

And you should check your sources, Maggie. In a many parts of the country, ICUs are still overflowing with covid cases. The rest of the country is absolutely not back to normal. The red states behave like things are back to normal but they are still losing massive numbers of lives. Please verify. What you are doing is trying to sow resentment and discord because you don’t like the laws here which are saving lives.

Margaret Eyler

Robert! lol!!!! I repeat only SEVEN states have mask mandates. There are more than 7 blue states so even among THAT metric we are an outlier! The US is basically the only country dumb enough to mask kids in schools (even the CDC just admitted there wasn't a clear benefit and yet we continue to do it)....just because you don't want baseless (unscientific) authoritarian rule over every aspect of your lives doesn't make you a knuckle-dragging Republican.

Robert Fields

Margaret, it’s a balance. What are vaccination rates in those states without mask mandates? Do they have large embedded unvaccinated populations? How are their hospitals holding up? ICUs overwhelmed or somewhat back to normal? What you don’t seem to understand is public officials have to consider the big picture before mandates are rolled back. You can have high vaccination rates but if hospitals are struggling you need to keep mandates in place to keep from overwhelming hospitals. Overtop those and people end up dying from all sorts of things unrelated to covid due to unavailability of proper care. Is all this like a foreign language to you?

When more people are vaccinated there is less need for masking. When less are vaccinated there is more need for masking. When hospitals are full, you need everything in the toolbox to save lives of citizens.

That’s what’s lost on people such as yourself. If more would get vaccinated, we could return to more normal behaviors once hospitals empty back out. Right now it’s the anti-vaxxers dragging down the whole country. Top that with the anti-maskers and you have responsible people who value their own lives and those of their family and friends pulling back and not exposing themselves to the added risk you pose so businesses suffer.

If you people would get with the program, we could get back to normal so much faster. But you don’t. Instead you bleat about your raghts and complain about anything else you can think of when it’s actually you who are the problem.

It’s not baseless. You just don’t understand the basis.

Khal Spencer

If the governor is going to keep emergency powers indefinitely, its time we elect a different governor. I seriously doubt this is what our witless legislators had in mind when they passed an emergency powers bill that never sunsets.

Mike Johnson

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] Exactly Khal, liberty cannot be suspended indefinitely in a supposedly free democracy. The people who wrote and voted for that bill should be ashamed of their stupidity, ignorance, and lack of imagination around what some despot could use it for.

Cheryl Meyer

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Robert Fields

We are still seeing more covid cases and covid deaths. These posts remind me of a quote from Dr. Strangelove by General Buck Turgidson where he also minimized the death toll as he advocated for a full-scale nuclear attack — “Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks.”

What’s your acceptable death rate, Khal?

Margaret Eyler

Right, we are seeing cases just hang out right were they've been since even BEFORE the mask mandate. Pull the mask from over your eyes!

Khal Spencer

Any death rate is fine with me, Mr. Fields. As long as they don't mess with my precious bodily fluids.

Margaret Eyler

👍

Chris Mechels

The PHERA Act, which made our Governor a Dictator, was passed in 2003, in the aftermath of 9/11. Many states did similar things. Then we never looked at it again until Covid, and then we found out what a miserable law it was. Our Governor could have shown some humility, and less hitting with sticks, but it seems she likes hitting with sticks. She a power mad little 5th grader, from her actions. Time to retire this brat. And, rewrite the dreadful PHERA Act, after Michelle leaves, as she says she'll veto changes that reduce her power. I thing this Mad Hatter should be impeached but the corrupt Demos will of course never hear of that.

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